The lure of the North American market is proving strong this summer
- with first Lord Chadlington and now PR Week announcing its intention
to cross the pond. The decision to export PR Week’s format of news,
opinions and hard hitting campaigning, is a direct result of the
relentless globalisation of the PR industry, and the pivotal place of
the US in this international marketplace.
The US edition will be produced separately but both magazines will
benefit from their transatlantic links - a relationship that will be
strengthened by a new PR Week web site. To borrow a phrase from the
industry, PR Week will ’think global, but act local’, to provide an
international perspective while continuing to address the particular
issues affecting each market.
And there are tremendous lessons that can be learned on both sides.
Undoubtedly the US is streets ahead of Europe in terms of its use of
technology as a communication and agency management tool. But at the
same time a trend towards transatlantic business alliances and a boom in
public affairs work means that an understanding of UK, EC as well as US
lobbying techniques is going to become of prerequisite for truly
international players. The dynamic UK market has much to contribute,
particularly in terms of increasing the accountability of the discipline
- an area in which it has made giant strides.
In my last leader, it was suggested that the UK scene might be rather
overburdened with committees dedicated to the cause of evaluation.
However, this week I have come to the conclusion this island may be
sinking under the weight of such worthy bodies.
Great minds think alike and it appears that the PRCA has independently
hatched a similar scheme for ’best practice’ guidelines to that
announced by the IPR. At the same time, the PRCA and IPR are also
sitting on a forum together with the Chartered Institute of Marketing
(and possibly the Market Research Society ) which is looking to set up a
joint body to administer a quality trade mark for R&E methodologies.
These are all important developments. But there is a danger of
duplication of effort in such a fragmentary approach. So, as part of the
Proof Campaign, PR Week invites all members of the new forum, plus
representatives from ICO and the Association of Media Evaluation
Companies (AMEC) to pool resources.
PR Week offers to host a single forum dedicated to establishing a
quality mark, a joint body to administer it, and one comprehensive good
practice ’ tool kit’. It’s time to sweep away the committee culture, set
a timetable and ensure that the UK continues to push forward the
frontiers of accountable communications.